It’s Not The Stork
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Many parents are uncomfortable with the concept of talking about sex with their kids and some choose to make up alternate stories about where babies come from instead of providing factual information.
It’s Not the Stork!: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families and Friends is the first of three books by Robie Harris that are written to help kids learn about sexual health kids in an age-appropriate way. This book is for kids age four and up, The second book It’s So Amazing is written for kids seven and up and the third book, It’s Perfectly Normal is written for kids approaching and going through puberty.
Each page is a combination of illustrations, text and comic strips featuring a cartoon bird and bee who act as guides through the book. Often they give voice to feelings kids reading or listening to the book may be having. They also bring up and address common myths and misinformation around the topic of sexual health.
This particular book helps parents to answer the question of where babies come from. It starts with comparisons to families of animals like you would see at the zoo or in a park.
The book includes illustrations of boys and girls bodies with labels for all their respective body parts. It covers more than just reproductive organs, but names them just the same as other body parts. There is an illustration of a sperm race to the egg – one of my daughters’ favourite sections primarily because some of the sperm are talking to each other about how they are going to win the race. There are also actual size drawings of a fetus at various stages of development
While we as adults may be uncomfortable talking with our kids about how babies are made and sexual health, our kids have no such hang ups. They are just curious and looking for information. This book and the others in the series present the facts in an accessible way. There were sections that I was admittedly cautious about reading, but then decided to just read through. At the end of each section, which is typically two pages long, I asked my daughters if they had any questions and provided any additional information or context that I wanted them to know.
I believe that it is the role of educators to provide facts and parents to teach values. With these books I can play both roles and provide the facts framed through our values lens to ensure that my kids have the information they need and want about their own bodies.